Jack Baltz makes medical missionary trip to Ukraine
Posted: Friday, February 18, 2011 12:02 am
MEDICAL MISSIONARY — Jack Baltz Nurse Practitioner with the Martin Specilalty Clinic went on a medical missionary trip to Ukraine. He is shown here with the ambulance crew from the city of Harkiv in front of their ambulance.
Recently Jack Baltz Nurse Practitioner with the Martin Specialty Clinic made a medical missionary trip to the former Soviet Union country of Ukraine. It was organized by Dr. Brian McMurray who is the American College of Emergency Physicians Ambassador to Ukraine. Baltz and McMurray were accompanied by Dr. Mark McLean who is the Lead ER doctor in Columbia, Tenn. and Dr. Shannon Langston who is doing a two year Fellowship in International Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt University. They provided medical education seminars in five different cities across the country. Topics included updates in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Trauma resuscitation. They were in the country for two weeks traveling by van and two nights by train in sleep cars. The team was able to spend two days in the city of Dnipropetovsk with Mike and Linda Ray who have been Missionaries from First Baptist Church of Martin living in Ukraine since 1995.
Ukraine is a country in the East of Europe, it is west of Russia. Ukraine became an independent country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Ukraine is in transition moving from a socialist country to a free market economy. Jack commented “You could really see that transition in that the malls in the large cities were as nice as any mall in the US but their hospitals look like 1950. They have serious lack of basic equipment as well as diagnostic equipment such as CT scanners and good Ultrasound. When a patient needs an operation, for example their gallbladder removed, the patient is given a piece of paper with a list of supplies that they are to bring with them to the hospital to have the operation.”
Ukraine health care system is government subsidized and freely available to all Ukrainian citizens but despite this there is a high death rate among adult males. Ukraine is looking at reforms to improve their health care and even looking at starting health insurance companies. “I think it is funny that they are trying to move to a health care system like ours, which is the best in the world and President Obama is trying to move our health care system to a socialist system like theirs” said Jack
“Most of the city buildings still reflect the gray darkness of Soviet socialism even most of the people wear gray or black but you are starting to see color. Most importantly I found the people of Ukraine to be very kind and friendly. I was thankful to have the opportunity to share medical knowledge with them but most of all it was great to give the doctors a New Testament and share with them that ultimate freedom comes in Christ”